The humble but holy stable

The birth of Jesus symbolised hope and promise. This has special resonance amid the new shoots of life that have become apparent in our Church.

Fr Quyen Vu SJ

The birth of every child marks a new beginning, one full of hope and promise, none more so than the birth of Jesus. It marked a fresh beginning for the human race, for those with ears to hear and eyes to see. It brought the human race into a new relationship with God. Christians recognise Jesus as the Way, the Truth and the Life, into which they are initiated at Baptism.

Baptism is a rebirth. We are born again of water and the Holy Spirit. We have seen some wonderful signs of rebirth in the Church this year. One and a half million young Christians gathered in Lisbon in August to celebrate World Youth Days with Pope Francis. They came from all over the world, including Australia, and despite their differences they did so peacefully. They showed the world how that can be done and gave new hope to the world as a result. It was a witness against the tyranny of war. They are the present and the future. Let us all help them keep their hopes and dreams alive as they find their future. Hopes and dreams can be crushed without careful nurturing.

Our young people in Portugal showed us how it is possible to walk together in Christ, to be a synodal Church, a Church that listens and discerns together where the Holy Spirit is leading us. In October there was another instance of this on display in Rome, as Catholics from all over the world gathered for the first part of the Synod on Synodality. This built on much that has been happening at the local level and Australians have been very much part of it. It will take time for the extended process to bear fruit, but it marks a renewal in our way of being Church together.

This Christmas let us celebrate once again the new life that God has given us through the birth of an infant, Jesus, who was nurtured by Mary and Joseph. May Mary and Joseph stand by us as we tend to the new shoots of life that have become apparent in our Church this year. May we be reborn in Christ. May Jesus, Mary and Joseph bless us during this festive season and help us treasure the new life emerging within us.

Feature photo by Jeswin Thomas on Pexels.